Student Aid Perspectives Archive

Student Aid Perspectives is an occasional, longer-format series designed to offer thought-provoking articles on current student aid topics written by expert authors.

 Below is the archive of previous Student Aid Perspective articles.

 

  • Cohort Default Rates: The Real Story at Community Colleges
    November 18, 2014 - When the U.S. Department of Education released the FY 2011 three-year cohort default rates (CDRs) this past September, most financial aid administrators were probably not surprised by their school’s rate because it was very similar to the draft...
  • Putting Institutional Performance in Perspective
    October 20, 2014 - "Context is critically important in many aspects of life, and postsecondary education outcomes are certainly no exception. As policymakers increasingly look to measurements of institutional outcomes to allocate financial aid funds and influence behav...
  • Filing the FAFSA Matters, but So Does Filing On Time
    September 29, 2014 - "The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—a major gateway to receiving financial aid—has long been criticized for its complexity. The pervasive problem of students missing out on financial assistance, due either to failure to ...
  • Award Displacement Reduces the Benefits of Private Scholarships
    August 5, 2014 - "Every year, students seek scholarships to help them pay for college, and scholarship providers award scholarships to recognize students’ achievements and to make their education more affordable. Counterintuitively, receiving a scholarship...
  • One Loan: It’s Really that Simple
    April 29, 2014 - During the several federal student loan panels I have participated in the past two years, one issue has always emerged: the “one loan program.” Although the idea of a single federal student loan program has strong support among some finan...
  • Does the President’s FY 2015 Budget Request Leave Graduate and Professional Students with the Short End of the Stick?
    April 1, 2014 - "Graduate and professional students have long experienced ups and downs regarding financing their educational endeavors. Over the past several decades, changing priorities in Washington, implemented by the U.S. Department of Education and the Departm...
  • Leveling the Playing Field for Student Parents
    January 13, 2014 - Even among higher education professionals, people are often surprised to learn that students with children (i.e., student parents) comprise more than a quarter of the student population. Student parents now total 4.8 million nationwide, according to ...
  • Helping Students Make Cents of College Costs, Financial Aid, and Net Price
    November 25, 2013 - Every year, millions of students and families grapple with the daunting questions of whether to go to college, which schools to apply to and ultimately attend, and how to pay for it all. Too often, families approach what may be the most important fin...
  • FAFSA’s Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Questions - Opening Doors or Creating Confusion?
    October 29, 2013 - In March 2013, NASFAA’s 17-member Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) included in its reauthorization recommendations moving homelessness from the definition of independent student status to an example of override authority under professional judg...
  • Student Loans: Crisis, Bubble, or Manageable Policy Issue?
    September 24, 2013 - Almost every article on student loans either mentions that total student debt in the U.S. now exceeds $1 trillion dollars or compares student loan debt to the housing bubble that devastated the economy in 2008. In this article from NASFAA’s Stu...
  • Are You Sitting Down? Communicating Bad News Effectively
    August 22, 2013 - Brad Mello, associate director for academic and professional affairs for the National Communication Association, describes the COMFORT model for breaking bad news. The model is comprised of seven specific communication competencies that are nece...
  • Two Perspectives on Student Unit Records
    July 10, 2013 - The “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act,” is bipartisan legislation designed "to ensure that a wide range of comparative data about higher education programs is more readily available for prospective students and their families," acc...
  • Full Frontal Disclosure: A Financial Plan Families Can Bank On
    May 29, 2013 - Annual shifts in federal, state, and institutional budgetary priorities, and the process of reassessing student eligibility each year, make long-range college financial planning nearly impossible. We tell families to save and plan for college but we ...
  • Making Higher Education Tax Credits Work
    April 23, 2013 - Millions of taxpayers qualify for help with education costs each year in the form of deductions on tuition and fees and student loan interest, tax-free growth in college savings plans, and tax credits to help pay for college expenses. Unfortunately, ...
  • Keep Calm and Trust Us
    March 29, 2013 - Who can you trust these days? Gallup released the results of an interesting poll this past December where they posed the question, “Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields.” ...
  • The Value of the EFC
    February 28, 2013 - "Are there potential changes to the treatment of income in Federal Methodology (FM) that could make it more effective? Absolutely," Jim Briggs, a seminar leader and financial aid consultant, writes. "Unfortunately, most are unlikely to be pursue...
  • Adapting Federal Student Aid for Twenty-first Century Lives
    January 22, 2013 - "Developments such as open courseware, competency-based programs, and advances in technology are rapidly outpacing the evolution of Uncle Sam’s postsecondary education funding mechanism," Marcus Szymanoski, manager of training and communic...
  • Deferred Action for 'Dreamers': Advising DACA Students About Affording College
    December 6, 2012 - Although the DREAM Act has never been passed into law by Congress, certain young immigrants who are enrolled in or have graduated from high school may now be eligible to apply for temporary relief called “deferred action," Angela D. Adams,...
  • Seven Ways to Provide Student Loan Debt Relief
    October 23, 2012 - "The desire to provide student debt relief to borrowers is tempered by concern about the cost to taxpayers when this government guaranteed debt isn’t fully repaid," writes David Berstein, a retired economist who worked in the Office of Eco...
  • The Power of the Presidency and Its Impact on Financial Aid
    October 3, 2012 - Craig Munier, director of Scholarships and Financial Aid for the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, writes about the role U.S. presidents play in the shape, structure and funding of the student aid programs. "The most obvious legislative to...
  • Collaborating to Improve Academic Progress: A Success Story
    September 5, 2012 - Rich Heath, director of financial aid, Detra Hooper, assistant financial aid director and SAP coordinator, and Bonnie Garrett, director of counseling, advising, and retention services for Anne Arundel Community College, divulge best practices to impl...
  • The Expected Family Contribution--What Do We Really Expect?
    July 30, 2012 - Many schools no longer list a FAFSA-driven Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on their award letters because it is "too confusing" and leads to "too many questions." The concern is certainly valid; the EFC can be both bewildering and misleading to fa...
  • Collaboration Is the Key to Communicating College Costs
    June 29, 2012 - Douglas A. Levy, financial aid director for Macomb Community College in Warren, MI, and chair of NASFAA’s Award Notification & Consumer Information Task Force, notes that accurately estimating and effectively communicating the cos...
  • Solving the Interest Rate Quandary: Two Feasible Proposals
    May 22, 2012 - Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project for the New America Foundation in Washington, DC, calls on policymakers to rethink how interest rates on federal student loans are set, arguing that the current method is "arbitrary, inf...
  • Federal Financing of Higher Education Requires a National Dialogue
    April 25, 2012 - In this edition of "Student Aid Perspectives," Brett E Lief, a board member for the National Student Loan Program (NSLP), advocates for a legislative process that restores the original importance of the Reauthorization of the Higher Educati...
  • Myths and Realities about Rising College Tuition
    March 23, 2012 - Dr. David H. Feldman, Professor of Economics at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA writes, "The story of rising tuition is complex. Unfortunately, much of the public discussion about the cost of attendance is too simplistic. To under...
  • Congress Should Cut Tuition Tax Breaks Before Cutting Pell Grants Again
    February 13, 2012 - Stephen Burd, senior policy analyst for Education Sector, urges Congress to stop cuts to the government’s main federal student aid programs in 2012. Luckily, he writes, there is a better place for policymakers to find the savings needed to...
  • Will Occupy Wall Street Shake Loose Some Change?
    January 18, 2012 - Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com and FinAid.org, writes that the Occupy Wall Street protesters' call to forgive all student loan debt may be unrealistic, but suggests that there are steps the federal government and colleges can take to ...
View Desktop Version